New York state schools are facing unprecedented challenges in the 21st century. Budgets are tight and the global pandemic and other environmental factors have fundamentally changed the way educational courses are delivered. And what about the students? We feel for them. You are encouraged to study in turbulent environments only to enter a highly competitive job market with ever changing skill requirements.
A victory for everyone is rarer than a unanimous approval of the school budget. But that is exactly what a solar-powered school brings – a triple gain for the school budget, the environment and the students' learning. And the school systems prevail. Today NYS ranks sixth in the country for solar capacity in educational institutions, responsible for over 35,000 kilowatts of solar power consumption in 222 different schools. Read on to learn why solar power is the best way to turn on the lights in the classroom.
How much money can a school save with solar energy?
This depends on a number of factors including the size of the school, its average energy consumption, financial incentives to run solar, and more. But across the board, the savings are substantial and add up over the years. According to the third edition of Brighter Future: A Study on Solar in US Schools, the Tucson Unified School District in Arizona has calculated that they Save $ 43 million in energy bills over 20 years. The Batesville School District in Arkansas had similar results in making the switch, and even reinvested the savings in teachers' salaries. They are now the nation's highest-paid school district, giving teachers up to $ 9,000 in planned salary increases per year.
What happens to the environment when a school is converted to solar energy?
The science is clear. Human activities contribute to climate change. By releasing tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere every year, we trap heat and contribute to global warming. These changes in the climate system have a domino effect that has a negative impact on our health, the environment and the economy.
Schools, as bastions of scientific knowledge and advances, have an incredible opportunity to point the way to solving this problem. And that is exactly what schools are doing that are converting to solar. Using solar power not only helps adapt the school itself – it's a positive impact on the entire neighborhood. The use of solar energy reduces the district's reliance on harmful, expensive fossil fuels and gives the school more control over a cleaner, renewable energy source that reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Who doesn't want to have more control, breathe easier and be part of the solution?
What does solar energy mean for the students?
“Employability” “STENGEL.” “Experience-based learning”. Those words and more are part of the pile of expectations piled in schools, along with “standardized test prep,” “AP,” and “please do it all for $ 5.” But switching to solar brings some relief with another triple win Schools can provide students with the skills they need in science, technology, engineering and math with hands-on methods by incorporating their solar systems into the curriculum. For example, Roxbury Latin School has added an interactive hub to their science center that provides on-demand solar panel productivity data and weather information.
Would you like to learn more about solar energy?
Check out the incredible research on the Solar Foundation website to learn more about whether solar power is right for your district. And if you would like to talk to solar system experts about your special project idea, Solar Liberty is always available for free advice. Call us at (716) 634-3780 or contact us online today!